Saturday, April 11, 2015

Barbara Bergmann, RIP

She was a major figure in the economic analysis of discrimination. Her theory of occupational crowding offered an elegant explanation of wage discrimination when disadvantaged groups are restricted to certain occupations. She was also a reliable and forceful voice for economic justice:
“We have our Scrooges, and lately the Scrooges have grown bolder in expressing themselves,” she wrote in December 1981. “But we are not a nation of Scrooges. On the contrary, we are a nation that, seeing voluntary efforts as commendable but chronically insufficient, has for almost 50 years been relieving social distress through the federal Treasury, using the coercive powers of government to collect the funds.”

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